How Pro-Israel Foundations are Pushing a US War with Iran

“As an ex-CIA case officer who worked on the Iran target for a number of years, I was shocked when I read the Times’ article, primarily because it sounded like a repeat of the fabricated intelligence that was used against both Iraq and Iran in 2001 through 2003,” says Philip M. Giraldi.

Observers of developments in the Middle East have long taken it as a given that the United States and Israel are seeking for an excuse to attack Iran. The recently terminated conference in Warsaw had that objective, which was clearly expressed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but it failed to rally European and Middle Eastern states to support the cause. On the contrary, there was strong sentiment coming from Europe in particular that normalizing relations with Iran within the context of the 2015 multi-party nuclear agreement is the preferred way to go both to avoid a major war and to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation.

There are foundations in Washington, all closely linked to Israel and its lobby in the U.S., that are wholly dedicated to making the case for war against Iran. They seek pretexts in various dark corners, including claims that Iran is cheating on its nuclear program, that it is developing ballistic missiles that will enable it to deliver its secret nuclear warheads onto targets in Europe and even the United States, that it is an oppressive, dictatorial government that must be subjected to regime change to liberate the Iranian people and give them democracy, and, most stridently, that is provoking and supporting wars and threats against U.S. allies all throughout the Middle East.

Dissecting the claims about Iran, one might reasonably counter that rigorous inspections by the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirm that Tehran has no nuclear weapons program, a view that is supported by the U.S. intelligence community in its recent Worldwide Threat Assessment. Beyond that, Iran’s limited missile program can be regarded as largely defensive given the constant threats from Israel and the U.S. and one might well accept that the removal of the Iranian government is a task best suited for the Iranian people, not delivered through military intervention by a foreign power that has been starving the country through economic warfare. And as for provoking wars in the Middle East, look to the United States and Israel, not Iran.

So the hawks in Washington, by which one means National Security Adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and, apparently President Donald Trump himself when the subject is Iran, have been somewhat frustrated by the lack of a clear casus belli to hang their war on. No doubt prodded by Netanyahu, they have apparently revived an old story to give them what they want, even going so far as to develop an argument that would justify an attack on Iran without a declaration of war while also lacking any imminent threat from Tehran to justify a preemptive strike.

Donald Trump waves to a crowd after speaking during a rally opposing the Iran nuclear deal outside the Capitol in Washington, Sept. 9, 2015. Susan Walsh | AP

What may be the new Iran policy was recently outlined in a Washington Times article, which unfortunately has received relatively little attention from either the media, the punditry or from the few policymakers themselves who have intermittently been mildly critical of Washington’s propensity to strike first and think about it afterwards.

The article is entitled “Exclusive: Iran-al Qaeda alliance May Provide Legal Rationale for U.S. military strikes.” The article’s main points should be taken seriously by anyone concerned over what is about to unfold in the Persian Gulf because it is not just the usual fluff emanating from the hubris-induced meanderings of some think tank, though it does include some of that. It also cites government officials by name and others who are not named but are clearly in the administration.

As an ex-CIA case officer who worked on the Iran target for a number of years, I was shocked when I read the Times’ article, primarily because it sounded like a repeat of the fabricated intelligence that was used against both Iraq and Iran in 2001 through 2003. It is based on the premise that war with Iran is desirable for the United States and, acting behind the scenes, Israel, so it is therefore necessary to come up with an excuse to start it. As the threat of terrorism is always a good tactic to convince the American public that something must be done, that is what the article tries to do and it is particularly discouraging to read as it appears to reflect opinion in the White House.

As I have been writing quite critically about the CIA and the Middle East for a number of years, I am accustomed to considerable push-back from former colleagues. But in this case, the calls and emails I received from former intelligence officers who shared my experience of the Middle East and had read the article went strongly the other way, condemning the use of both fake and contrived intelligence to start another unnecessary war.

The article states that Iran is supporting al Qaeda by providing money, weapons and sanctuary across the Middle East to enable it to undertake new terrorist attacks. It is doing so in spite of ideological differences because of a common enemy: the United States. Per the article and its sources, this connivance has now “evolved into an unacceptable global security threat” with the White House intent on “establishing a potential legal justification for military strikes against Iran or its proxies.”

One might reasonably ask why the United States cares if Iran is helping al Qaeda as both are already enemies who are lying on the Made in U.S.A. chopping block waiting for the ax to fall. The reason lies in the Authorization to Use Military Force, originally drafted post 9/11 to provide a legal fig leaf to pursue al Qaeda worldwide, but since modified to permit also going after “associated groups.” If Iran is plausibly an associated group then President Trump and his band of self-righteous maniacs egged on by Netanyahu can declare “bombs away Mr. Ayatollah.” And if Israel is involved, there will be a full benediction coming from Congress and the media. So is this administration both capable and willing to start a major war based on bullshit? You betcha!

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presents material on Iranian nuclear weapons development during a press conference in in Tel Aviv, Israel, Monday, April 30, 2018. Netanyahu says his government has obtained “half a ton” of secret Iranian documents proving the Tehran government once had a nuclear weapons program. Calling it a “great intelligence achievement,” Netanyahu said Monday that the documents show that Iran lied about its nuclear ambitions before signing a 2015 deal with world powers. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

The Times suggests how it all works as follows: “Congressional and legal sources say the law may now provide a legal rationale for striking Iranian territory or proxies should President Trump decide that Tehran poses a looming threat to the U.S. or Israel and that economic sanctions are not strong enough to neutralize the threat.” The paper does not bother to explain what might constitute a “looming threat” to the United States from puny Iran but it is enough to note that Israel, as usual, is right in the middle of everything and, exercising its option of perpetual victim-hood, it is apparently threatened in spite of its nuclear arsenal and overwhelming regional military superiority guaranteed by act of the U.S. Congress.

Curiously, though several cited administration officials wedded to the hard-line against Iran because it is alleged to be the “world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism” were willing to provide their opinions on the Iran-al Qaeda axis, the authors of the recent Worldwide Threat Assessment issued by the intelligence community apparently have never heard of it. The State Department meanwhile sees an Iranian pipeline moving al Qaeda’s men and money to targets in central and south Asia, though that assessment hardly jives with the fact that the only recent major attack attributed to al Qaeda was carried out on February 13th in southeastern Iran against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, a bombing that killed 27 guardsmen.

The State annual threat assessment also particularly condemns Iran for funding groups like Hezbollah and Hamas, both of which are, not coincidentally, enemies of Israel who would care less about “threatening” the United States but for the fact that it is constantly meddling in the Middle East on behalf of the Jewish state.

And when in doubt, the authors of the article went to “old reliable,” the leading neocon think tank the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, which, by the way, works closely with the Israeli government and never, ever has criticized the state of democracy in Israel. One of its spokesmen was quick off the mark: “The Trump administration is right to focus on Tehran’s full range of malign activities, and that should include a focus on Tehran’s long-standing support for al Qaeda.”

Indeed, the one expert cited in the Times story who actually is an expert and examined original documents rather than reeling off the approved government and think tank talking points contradicted the Iran-al Qaeda narrative. “Nelly Lahoud, a former terrorism analyst at the U.S. Military Academy and now a New America Foundation fellow, was one of the first to review documents seized from bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan. She wrote in an analysis for the Atlantic Council this fall that the bin Laden files revealed a deep strain of skepticism and hostility toward the Iranian regime, mixed with a recognition by al Qaeda leaders of the need to avoid a complete break with Tehran. In none of the documents, which date from 2004 to just days before bin Laden’s death, ‘did I find references pointing to collaboration between al Qaeda and Iran to carry out terrorism,’ she concluded.”

So going after Iran is the name of the game even if the al Qaeda story is basically untrue. The stakes are high and whatever has to be produced, deduced or fabricated to justify a war is fair game. Iran and terrorism? Perfect. Let’s try that one out because, after all, invading Iran will be a cakewalk and the people will be in the streets cheering our tanks as they roll by. What could possibly go wrong?

Top Photo | U.S. Sailors, and Marines attached to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), stand watch aboard an assault ship in the Strait of Hormuz, near the coast of Iran, Feb. 15, 2019. Mike DiMestico | DVIDS

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

Source | Unz Review

11 thoughts on “How Pro-Israel Foundations are Pushing a US War with Iran”

  1. “The ideal scenario in this case would be that the United States and the international community present a package of positive inducements so enticing that the Iranian citizenry would support the deal, only to have the regime reject it. In a similar vein, any military operation against Iran will likely be very unpopular around the world and require the proper international context–both to ensure the logistical support the operation would require and to minimize the blowback from it. The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however, grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offer–one so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down. Under those circumstances, the United States (or Israel) could portray its operations as taken in sorrow, not anger, and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians ‘brought it on themselves'” –“Which Path to Persia,” Brookings Institution, p. 39, 2009

    “Ignorance is Strength.” I’m weak.

  2. ”How Pro-Israel Foundations are Pushing a US War with Iran”
    well thats all Congress then and trump, look how he rushed over to kiss the arse of Irahell as soon as he got in the WH, a sure sign if EVER there was one, and now he’s not going after clintons obomber or bush and no 911 disclosures like he said he was for montha now,, zioRothschilds have called their favor in , he’s a sell out!

  3. I FEEL LIKE THE CASANDRA OF TROY WARNING ABOUT THE GREEKS. IN THIS CASE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WHO SEEM UNAWARE OF THE POWDER KEG THAT HAS BEEN BUILT BY SUBSEQUENT DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTS. WHILE CONGRESS SEEMS TO HAVE LOST THE CONFIDENCE OF MANY OF ITS LONG TERM ALLIES THERE ARE ALWAYS FACTIONS LOCATED INSIDE OF THESE COUNTRIES THAT CAN CAUSE POLITICAL UPHEAVAL AS WE ARE NOW WITNESS TO IN VENEZUELA.

    THE BIG QUESTION ABOUT TRUMP IS, HE USING THIS POWDER KEG TO MANIPULATE CHINA INTO DOING TRADE BY DONALD’S RULES OR IS TRUMP USING CHINA TRADE TALKS TO SET OFF THE POWDER KEG?

    I WOULD SAY RIGHT NOW THAT CHINA AND RUSSIA HAS DONE A GOOD JOB EXPLAINING TO THE ASIAN POLITICIANS HOW REGIME CHANGE WORKS AND THAT THE USA WANTS AN ASIAN WAR TO TURN AISA BACK TO THE STONE AGES. SO THAT THE WEST WOULD AGAIN BE DOMINANT BY GETTING RID OF ASIA’S INDUSTRIAL MIGHT. THE WEST WOULD ALSO CHARGE THE ASIANS TO REBUILD THEIR COUNTRIES WHICH WOULD BE A GIGANTIC TRANSFER OF WEALTH FROM EAST TO WEST.

    OBVIOUSLY CONGRESS AND TRUMP ARE GOING TO HAVE TO BE THE AGGRESSORS. IT WON’T PLAY THAT WAY IN DOMESTIC NEWS. BUT IF THE USA MILITARY MAKES AN AGGRESSIVE MOVE WHAT WILL BE THE PUSHBACK? IS CONGRESS STUPID ENOUGH TO USE NUCLEAR WARFARE. OR SOMETHING EQUALLY SINISTER AS WEATHER WARS–SEE JIM LEE’S YOU TUBE SITE CALLED CLIMATEVIEWER. ONE THING FOR SURE THE BATTLEFIELD WILL BE WITHIN THE USA WHICH IS SOMETHING AMERICANS ARE PREPARED FOR EMOTIONALLY OR PHYSICALLY.

    THE USA IS RAMPING UP FOR WAR. WHY THE SUDDEN AGGRESSION FOR VENEZUELA’S OIL SUPPLY BUT TO MAKE SURE OUR WAR MACHINE HAS AN ADEQUATE SUPPLY OF PETROLEUM? LET’S FACE IT THAT WAS THE ULTIMATE DOWNFALL FOR BOTH NAZIS GERMANY AND FASCIST JAPAN.

    WHY ALL OF A SUDDEN REGIME CHANGE IN SUDAN WHICH IS ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE RED SEA FROM SAUDI ARABIA AND SOUTH OF EGYPT AND ISRAEL? DOES THAT AND THE WAR IN YEMEN WHICH IS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF OF THE BAB EL MANDEB STRAIT WITH OIL SHIPMENTS TO CHINA? IF YOU NEVER COULD FIGURE OUT WHO WAS FIGHTING WHO OVER DARFUR READ WM ENGDAHL’S BOOK FULL SPECTRUM DOMINANCE TO LEARN THAT THE AMERICAN TAXPAYERS VIA THE CIA COVERT OPERATIONS PAID FOR ALL THE TERRORIST GROUPS. IT WASN’T UNTIL CHINA ENTERED THE SCENE THAT IT ALL SUDDENLY CAME TO A STOP. SO THE QUESTION IS, WHO IS BEHIND THE REGIME PROTESTS IN SUDAN TO BRING IN A TOTALLY NEW GOVERNMENT?

    IF YOU LOOK AT THE MAP IRAN IS SANDWICHED BETWEEN IRAQ ON THE WEST AND AFGHANISTAN ON THE EAST BOTH HEAVILY FORTIFIED BY AMERICAN MILITARY PRESENCE. AND PAKISTAN IS SANDWICHED BETWEEN AFGHANISTAN ON THE NORTH AND WITH INDIA TO ITS SOUTH.

    NOW THERE IS THE INDIA PROBLEM. INDIA HAS A BORDER WITH CHINA IN ITS NE REGION AND BORDERS ON THE SEA OF BENGAL WHICH BUMPS UP AGAINST THE STRAIT OF MALACCA WHICH IS ANOTHER CHOKE POINT FOR OIL SHIPMENTS FROM SAUDI ARABIA AND AFRICA TO CHINA. PM MODI CONSIDERED A NEOPHYTE ON NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL MATTERS HAS BEEN TRYING TO BE FRIENDS WITH BOTH THE USA AND CHINA. BUT LET’S FACE IT THERE WOULD BE NO “INDIAN DRAGON” WITHOUT THE USA. IN FACT I WOULD SAY THE $27 BN TRADE DEFICIT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE WITH INDIA IS NOTHING MORE THAN BAKSHEESH FOR THE 2 MILITARY BASES IN INDIA. AND THERE IS ONE IN SRI LANKA (ALONG WITH A CHINESE PORT). WHICH MAKES ME WONDER IF THERE WAS MORE THAN A KASHMIRI MOVEMENT TERRORIST INVOLVED IN THE RECENT BOMBING. WHICH REVEALED THE FACT THAT WASHINGTON IS SELLING MISSILES TO INIDA’S ARCH ENEMY PAKISTAN. MODI IS UP FOR ELECTION THIS SPRING AND HIS BASE IS THE HINDU NATIONALISTS.

    COULD THIS BE WHY ALL OF A SUDDEN CONGRESS AND TRUMP ARE SO INTERESTED IN “PROTECTING” PHILIPPINES FROM CHINA. RECALL THAT THE USA CUT OFF ALL FOREIGN AID TO THE PHILIPPINES WHEN THEY CLOSED SUBIC BAY. THERE IS A US COVERT OPERATION INSIDE OF THE PHILIPPINES WHICH DUERTE HAS APPARENTLY, TO DATE, BEEN UNABLE TO GET OUT OF HIS COUNTRY.
    DUERTE AND XE HAVE SIGNED AGREEMENTS BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES WITH THE PHILIPPINES ALIGNING THEMSELVES WITH CHINA.

    JAPANESE PM ABE HAS ALSO BEEN MAKING NICE WITH THE CHINESE. AND TRUMP AND CONGRESS ARE UNPOPULAR WITH THE JAPANESE PEOPLE WHO DON’T WANT “NO MORE WAR”.

    IRAQ AND IRAN BORDER ON SOUTHERN TURKEY. TURKEY HAS THE SECOND LARGEST MILITARY IN NATO. THE USA CIA PUT PM ERDOGAN INTO POWER AND IN 2016 TRIED TO BRING HIS GOVT DOWN. THAT FORCED ERDOGAN INTO THE ARMS OF RUSSIA. ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE BLACK SEA IS THE UKRAINE. SO IF CONGRESS DEFEATS IRAN THEN THE USA MILITARY ROLES OVER ARMENIA AND GEORGIA AND RIGHT INTO RUSSIA PROPER.

    LET’S FACE IT THOSE FORMER SOVIET SATELLITE COUNTRIES ARE BRISTLING WITH CONGRESSIONAL WEAPONS.

    India | United States Trade Representativehttps://ustr.gov/countries-regions/south-central-asia/india
    The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with India was $27.3 billion in 2017. India is currently our 9th largest goods trading partner with $74.3 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2017.

    India’s Top Trading Partners – World’s Top Exportswww.worldstopexports.com/indias-top-import-partners/
    Below is a list highlighting 15 of India’s top trading partners in terms of countries that imported the most Indian shipments by dollar value during 2017. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Indian exports.
    Below is a list highlighting 15 of India’s top trading partners in terms of countries that imported the most Indian shipments by dollar value during 2017. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Indian exports.
    United States: US$46.1 billion (15.6% of total Indian exports)
    United Arab Emirates: $30 billion (10.1%)
    Hong Kong: $15 billion (5.1%)
    China: $12.5 billion (4.2%)
    Singapore: $11.6 billion (3.9%)
    United Kingdom: $9 billion (3%)
    Germany: $8.2 billion (2.8%)
    Vietnam: $8.1 billion (2.7%)
    Bangladesh: $7.2 billion (2.4%)
    Belgium: $6.2 billion (2.1%)
    Italy: $5.7 billion (1.9%)
    Malaysia: $5.5 billion (1.9%)
    Nepal: $5.5 billion (1.9%)
    Netherlands: $5.4 billion (1.8%)
    Saudi Arabia: $5.2 billion (1.8%)
    Over three-fifths (61.3%) of Indian exports in 2017 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.
    Where in the World Is the U.S. Military? – POLITICO Magazinehttps://www.politico.com/magazine/story/…/us-military-bases-around-the-world-119321
    U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay – Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Naval_Base_Subic_Bay
    Type: Naval base Fate: Decommissioned in 1992

    China–Sudan relations – Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China–Sudan_relations
    China–Sudan relations. China–Sudan relations refers to the bilateral relationsbetween the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Sudan. China is Sudan’s biggest trade partner, importing oil from Sudan while exporting low cost items as well as armaments to Sudan.
    SUDAN BEING SANCTIONED https://youtu.be/hGr_N–XLSg
    Kazakhstan–Russia relations – Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazakhstan–Russia_relations
    Kazakhstan and Russia are both founding members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, and are additionally part of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Both also founded the Eurasian Economic Union with Belarus. Following the collapse of the USSR, the issue of nuclear weapons was central to diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and Russia, the West and the broader international community[1]. In recent years, Kazakhstan has attempted to balance ties between both sides by selling petroleum and natural gas to its northern neighbor at artificially low prices, allowing heavy investment from Russian businesses, and concluding an agreement over the Baikonur Cosmodrome while simultaneously assisting the West in the War on Terror.[2]

    The influence of Chinese economic growth on Central Asian countries …www.loc.gov/rr/business/asia/CentralAsia/centralasian.html
    Kazakhstan is the richest and most economically developed one among the five Central Asian countries and has multifaceted relations to globalization.

  4. AND…ALL of this Bull-Chit is being push by a nation of IMPOSTERS…FAKE JEWS…Because the REAL Jews are BLACK JEWS…THE ORIGINAL “CHOSEN PEOPLE…THE REAL “FIRST-BORN” OF ALL CREATED “GOD-WOMAN/MAN” .
    These FAKES will NEVER succeed at ANYTHING…But Their “Everlasting” Destruction…ALONG WITH ANYONE SUPPORTING THEM.

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